Govt mulls new funding model for TVET

TVET students operate a machine at Kigali Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) on May 14, 2019. / Emmanuel Kwizera.

There is a shortfall in financial resources needed to fund the construction of at least one Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) facility in each of the 416 sectors in the country to pave way for the creation of 1.5 million jobs by 2024.

This is according to Dr Valentine Uwamariya, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in Charge of Training, Institutional Development and Research at Rwanda Polytechnic (RP).

Considering that the current percentage of TVET absorption by ordinary level graduates is still low, at 33.1 per cent (with 60 per cent as the target by 2024), there is an urgent need to establish more TVET training facilities across the country, she said.

To address the financial resources gaps, a new ‘TVET funding model’ is being developed, she said.

The main aim of enrolling more youth into TVET programmes is to have enough skilled workforce in the labour market.

 This is also tied to the national goal for reducing the unemployment rate.

Uwamariya said that, without adequate infrastructure and appropriate training equipment, the target of having more youth in TVET, improved quality and access would be infeasible.

“If we have target to have 60 per cent of ordinary level graduates joining TVETs and that we are at 33.1 per cent, we need extra-ordinary measures to fix the gap of 26.9 per cent remaining in the next four years which requires more resources,” she said.

According to the five-year TVET schools expansion plan, every sector requires at least one TVET training facility.

The official said that 222 sectors-(53 per cent) of the 416 sectors across the country, have no TVET training facility and added that even some of the existing TVET schools are in poor conditions and need to be renovated to meet standards.

Only 58.1 per cent of TVET schools meet quality standards according to a recent audit by Workforce Development Authority.

Most TVET schools have no accommodation facilities for students and, therefore, don’t attract many students from different corners in need of TVET.

At least 60 per cent of TVET schools are owned by private players who do not always invest in equipment needed to train students, with most not meeting minimum standards, she explained.

“We need to construct and equip new TVET schools within the next 5 years. To build a TVET school is very costly in terms of equipment, and consumables used for training students,” she said.

Over the next five years, the Government needs over Rwf100 billion to streamline Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in order to release qualified graduates into the labour market.

TVET funding model

According to Uwamariya, following the funding gap, a new ‘TVET funding model’ has been proposed.

She said that since the cost implication for construction of new TVET schools within five years is huge, an unconventional approach to building more schools such as community involvement and stakeholder engagement has been designed.

“We are also in discussions with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and other stakeholders so they can allocate more funds, under the 2020/2021 fiscal year, to build new TVET schools,” she said.

 “We also need money to build accommodation facilities in the existing TVET schools so as to attract more students,” she said.

He said that the Government is going to financially support private TVET schools so they can also receive students placed by the Ministry of Education.

“Under the new proposed funding TVET model, we request every Rwandan who has a monthly salary to take a small percentage out of their income to fund TVET sector development. We want to establish a ‘TVET Development Fund’ where such contributions would be deposited and any stakeholder who wishes, can inject some support into this fund. It is still a proposal under discussions,” she said.

 The fund will also be used to support the training of people in TVET to provide skills needed in the labour market, she added.

Dual training system

James Gashumba, the Vice-Chancellor of Rwanda Polytechnic, said they are in discussions with private companies to help government provide practical skills to students.

The new partnership is under the system called “Dual Training System (DTS)”.

 Dual Training System (DTS) is a mode of training delivery which combines theoretical and practical training and takes place in two venues – the school and the company.

Under the system, students will spend at least 70 per cent of the learning hours under training in the industry and spend 30 per cent in higher learning institutions.

“The project aims at covering skills gaps which have been identified in the local labour market,” he said.

 The companies will sign MOUs to receive the students depending on the availability of places in companies for industrial attachment.

This mode of delivery, Gashumba said, was being implemented for short-term training, but beginning the next academic year, it will be introduced in formal education piloting it in six TVET institutions.

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